Have you been struggling with bad eating habits or been trying to make a decision on how to eat “healthier”? We’re here to help! Over the next month, we’ll be releasing a blog post each week from CHT’s own Robert Langston that goes in depth on 5 of the most common dietary trends. This week’s article is the 5th in the series and focuses on a Mixed Diet.
In this edition we will see how a Mixed Diet stands up against the objectives of Health, Performance and Aesthetics. We’ll also look at the ease of implementation of this approach. As a review…
Mixed diets are very similar to the Paleo style of eating. The main differences being that Mixed diets have a higher carb intake, allow grains, legumes and dairy.
30/40/30 calorie split for Protein/Carbs/Fat
Made up of all foods that come from the Earth including grains and dairy
Moderate protein (generally grass fed organic meats)
High in vegetables
High in healthy fats
High in nutrients
Very little if any processed foods
Mixed diets do a great job at accomplishing and maintaining our health objectives through the same mechanisms as the Paleo diet..
Increased intake of phytochemicals
Increased intake of zoochemicals
Increased intake of proteins
Increased intake of healthy fats
Removal of processed foods and alcohol
What about grains,legumes and dairy?
A lot of people experience an improvement in their digestion after removing these items as we talked about in the Paleo diet. A number of traditional Paleo Practitioners believe that these foods are not meant for human consumption. Concerns of gluten in grains, phytic acid in beans and dairy being a food for baby cows are common. These are all valid points, however there is more to this than meets the eye. As stated before, most people come to a Paleo diet from a SAD diet. This means they experience a lot of benefits that are more associated with the removal of processed foods and removing macro/micro nutrient deficiencies.
Most of the grains and legumes (beans) consumed by Americans come from conventional farming practices (low quality soil, GMO crops, pesticides,stored for long periods of times in silos) and are highly processed. Consuming grains and legumes in this manner can lead to a lot of the digestive and inflammatory problems that Paleo Practitioners talk about. This could also make a person wrongfully believe that they have various intolerances. Mixed diet (sometimes called modified Paleo Diets) recommend consuming sprouted grains & legumes from organic farming practices. Sprouted versions of these foods have a lot more nutrient density. Phytic acid (mineral blocker) is also broken down in the sprouting process, preventing a lot of the digestive problems people experience from conventionally farmed versions. Last week, we discussed how the majority of the dairy consumed by Americans comes from sick cows feeding on grains and injected with a variety of hormones and antibiotics. Mixed diets allow for some dairy that comes from healthy grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free cows/goats/sheep. Many people are able to enjoy dairy without digestive drama when consuming it from organic farming practices.
When it comes to grains, legumes and dairy it's important to experiment with your body. Experiment with consuming these foods from organic farming practices and see how your body responds. You can also rotate your foods, meaning having grains,legumes and dairy only on certain days of the week.
A Mixed diet does a great job at reaching and maintaining the performance objectives. In addition to having lots of quality meats, vegetables/fruits, mixed diets have a higher carbohydrate intake, and also allow for higher carbohydrate food choices (rice, oats, quinoa, legumes). As we discussed in the Low Carb diet, low carbs lead to decreased physiological function.The typical sluggish cranky feeling experienced by low carbers rarely happens on Mixed diets.
BODY COMPOSITION (aesthetics)
Mixed diets perform well at reaching and maintain
our body composition objectives. Similar to Paleo diets, just removing processed foods, increasing meat, vegetables and fruits solves a big piece of the puzzle. Pair this plan with a regular strength & conditioning program and you have a transformation in the making. The difference here is that the higher carb intake improves gym performance and adherence.
Mixed diets required some effort to start. Building meals in the 30/40/30 protein/carb/fat ratio will take some prior planning just like the other structured diets. Many Mixed diet practitioners find that they can sustain this style of eating for the long term since it doesn’t ask them to directly remove foods groups. They also enjoy the performance benefits from this style of eating. Mixed diets are an excellent way to reach maintain the health, performance and body composition objectives with a moderate effort to implement.
Thank you for reading this edition of “You Can’t Outwork a Bad Diet”. Please be sure to leave questions in the comment section below and we will be sure to answer them for you! Our next article in the series will come out next week and provide insight on the Ketogenic Diet.